European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker today expressed his complete opposition to Turkish moves that have escalated tensions around the Greece Imia islets in the Aegean and in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus.
At the same time, the German foreign ministry expressed support for European Council President Donald Tusk’s call for Ankara to refrain from threatening any EU member-state – a reference to Cyprus and Greece – and the Russian foreign ministry expressed its concern over Turkey’s hostile actions in Cyprus’ EEZ.
Speaking at a press conference on the EU’s long-term budget after 2020, Juncker, when asked to remark on Turkey’s recent tensions with Greece and Cyprus, replied that he is “absolutely against Turkey’s stance”.
That comment came straight on the heels of Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas’ warning that Ankara must refrain from negative statements and any friction, threat or action that undermines good neighbourly relations.
The Commission has also underlined the need for Turkey to respect the sovereignty of EU member-states on land, in territorial waters, and in their airspace.
Germans back EU warnings to Ankara
At the same time, Maria Adebahr, a spokesperson for the German Foreign Ministry, expressed Berlin’s support the statements of Tusk and the European Commission.
Regarding the ramming of a Hellenic Coast Guard ship by a Turkish one, Adebahr indicated that Berlin is encouraged by the fact that the Greek and Turkish prime ministers were able to directly discuss the issue in a telephone contact.
The German Chancellery announced that Angela Merkel will be meeting Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim tomorrow.
Russian concerns about Cyprus
Maria Zakharova , the director of the Information and Press Department of the Russian foreign ministry, expresses Moscow’s concerns over Ankara’s hostile actions in the Cyprus’ EEZ.
“The Russian Federation expresses its concern about the situation prevailing in Cyprus’ EEZ,” Zakharova said.